“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin
During the past 30 years of my career as a newspaper and magazine journalist, I have authored many thousands of articles and columns. However, you, dear reader, are currently reading my very first blog. Ivan from Motivideos.com has invited me to start a guest blog, and I’m looking forward to the experience, because whether it’s called motivation, inspiration or incentive, there’s nothing better than helping people (including myself) to realize that there are ways to get what you want out of life… you just have to want it badly enough.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It’s an old English proverb, but the message is timeless. And the way is usually lead by a strategy; a plan.
For instance, blogging should come easy to me; I’ve been consistently journaling my life’s experiences since I was given a diary for my tenth birthday. However, it’s not something I ever really planned on doing. Back in the day, there was no such thing as computers, and the word blog didn’t even exist. As a fledgling writer, I aspired to see my name in print; as a by-line in newspapers, magazines and maybe even books. There was no on-line option.
Enrolled in journalism school in the early 1980’s, I learned the age-old method of laying out and printing a newspaper – and it probably wasn’t much different than the way old Ben did it, back in his day.
In 1987, I landed my first real journalism job at a Jersey Shore newsmagazine called The SandPaper. In 1988, I bought my first computer, and in the months and years that followed, I watched this marvelous invention transform my industry.
The birth of the World Wide Web in 1996 changed everything once again. And as the new millennium dawned, I found my job becoming increasingly easier to manage – to the point that I can now do my work from virtually anywhere; hiking in the forest, traveling in a car, waiting in line at the grocery store… my smartphone has made it easy to pitch story ideas to editors at any time and do interviews on the fly.
I watched with fascination as blogging become popular, but I must admit that I had no interest in becoming a blogger. This seemed to be something anyone could do – anyone, that is, who didn’t spend four years in J-School. Yet here I am, writing my first blog, which makes me think of that poem by Robert Burns, where he basically said that the best laid plans often go awry. Not that blogging is actually a step off of my beaten path, but I never before understood how it could apply to someone like me.
Still, we all know that planning is important, and when unexpected changes occur, it’s equally important to be able to change those plans to fit the new schematic. So, if writing a blog is something that could actually expand my readership and teach me a thing or two as I research and reveal the most cutting-edge motivational techniques known today, then I’m going to fit this new way of writing into my repertoire. I am realizing that social media now has a comfortable foothold in the way we get our messages out there. And if anyone can do it, then a professional writer ought to have a slight advantage, right? So, I plan on tackling this blog the same way I write most of my articles for local and national clients (like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Human Resource Executive Magazine); by researching and quoting the wisdom of experts. That’s my business strategy… what’s yours?
“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way” – Henry David Thoreau